Cognitive decline occurs naturally as part of the aging process. Some of the symptoms associated with aging may include forgetfulness, decreased ability to maintain focus, and decreased problem solving capability. Dementia is another form of cognitive decline that significantly impairs memory, ability to focus and pay attention, visual perception, communication and language, as well as reasoning and judgment.
Research has shown that neurofeedback can improve cognitive function in aging adults. Treatment is tailored to the individual's needs and the brain is challenged in areas such as memory, attention and mental processing speed thereby delaying cognitive decline associated with aging and dementia.
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Neurofeedback provides the opportunity for enhancing optimal sports performance without the use of performance enhancing drugs. Neurofeedback works to enhance concentration and attention, reduction of anxiety, improved stress management, and improved control over emotions enhancing the ability to perform under pressure. In addition, athletes who are suffering from injuries such as concussions and mild head injuries have used neurofeedback to assist in the healing process and to speed recovery.
High level athletes who have used neurofeedback to enhance their performance include:
- The Vancouver Canucks Men's Hockey Team; holders of the best regular season in the NHL in both the 2010-2011 and 2011-2012 seasons
- The Italian National Futbol Team; 2006 FIFA World Cup Champions
- Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh-Jennings; Three-time Olympic Gold Medalists
- Eric Shanteau; 2012 U.S. Swim Team Olympic Gold Medalist
- Jessica Hardy; 2012 U.S. Swim Team Olympic Gold Medalist
- Phil Mickelson; World Golf Hall of Famer
- Denver Broncos; AFL Division Leaders
- Chicago Bears; NFL Division Leaders
Neurofeedback has been successful in many cases in reducing the symptoms of Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), and Conduct Disorder, as examples. ADD and ADHD symptoms include hyperactivity, impulsivity, and inattentiveness. Conduct Disorder is a repetitive and persistent pattern of behaviors where basic social rules and rights of others are violated.
Often times children diagnosed with ADD/ADHD are given medication to alleviate the symptoms, but these medications may come with unwanted effects and the effectiveness of the medication may wear off during the day. Neurofeedback may be an effective alternative to medication allowing children to train their brain to focus and concentrate alleviating the symptoms of ADD, ADHD and Conduct Disorder and other limiting conditions.
Neurofeedback has also been used to increase academic functioning. Children who utilize neurofeedback are training their brain to work at its maximum potential, which is similar to the way the body is exercised, toned and maintained. They are training the brain to function better through its natural mechanisms increasing areas such as memory, attention and mental processing speed.
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